- Nov 11, 2020
- Reaction score
We are certainly creating more. We cant finish for some reason at the moment. Now Adama never could finish if you look at his career goals. But Raul certainly can, It took him a while when he first came to find his scoring boots but then went on a run. I think he scuffed one under a keeper to start the ball rolling. That could well happen again. Trincao can obviously finish , he just hasn't. Hwang already has a goal and has shown potential. We know Neto can score but he is a while away. Fabio is not a natural finisher or poacher either positionally or instinctively for me; some may disagree, but I have not seen it in his time here and he has had plenty of chance toi show it. Hwang already looks more instinctive than Fabio with his runs and positioning , for instance. Semedo has done everything but score and himn getting into those positions is a positive under Lage. RAN can hit the target but has not been used. Neves is famed for his shooting ability but hasn't scored one of those for ages so hopefully , with him further up that will happen. Dendoncker misses more than he scores but has the legs to get into those positions. Moutinho scores once in a blue moon. Then you're up with defenders of whom Saiss is probably the most threatening, but only at set pieces and our set pieces are crap. Kilman has never scored and Coady scores for England more than he does for us! Boly can score so who knows.I guess the question is, are our poor results down to bad luck, or just bad defending/finishing?
If the performances are there then it's one of them. If it's the latter, will we revert to the mean or will we continue to struggle consistently?
People can come down on either camp or a bit of both. I still insist that the sample size is too small to know for sure. I'm not really counting last season's finishing as we barely created anything and weren't looking like winning half the time.
So with that we are a team that play well enough to create chances now and decent ones , but cant finish them off. Now I would say that's confidence as much if not more than ability. Can I see us getting points off the top 10 teams Deutsch wolf mentions on another thread? Yes, I think we can and we will. Probably 6 with, a win and 3 draws. That leaves 9 other teams to get 34 points from to hit the mythical 40 points, So Burnley, Norwich ,Newcastle , Southampton, Watford, Brentford, Leeds, Palace, Brighton we need to beat at least once and draw the other. We are down already against Brentford but you would hope to win the home fixture against Watford. If we perform any way close to how we played in our first three or four games then it is very unlikely that we wont get 9 wins from those fixtures. Brentford was a collective aberration, I hope , not to be repeated for a long while. But Lage does need to recognise where it went wrong and it starts with the midfield pairing against a midfield three. Lage does not have the credit in the bank that Nuno had , which is why he needs this squad to click for him and quickly. Hwang could be key to that on early showing, as could the use of Dendoncker in place of Moutinho. Jaoa still has plenty to offer but is bypassed in a 3-4-3 as he is stuck betwixed or between. His legs are not going to improve at 35.
I think it would be folly to try 4 at the back. We just don't have the players at the moment. its 343 or 352 for me. Traore is still an enigma and I would use him off the bench against tired defenders, so I would start 352 and give us more in midfield and play more centrally to allow attacking wing backs to move into space.
Kilman Coady Boly
Semedo Dendoncker Neves RAN
That leaves you with Saiss, Marcal and Moutinho as midfield cover/ defensive cover- Traore , Trincao and Fabio as offensive options off the bench. We know the squad needed adding too but that hasnt happened . You play the hand you have been dealt but you can still play it effectively.
Finally, I did expect better against Brentford. But I also expected zero from Spurs, Leicester and Man United- Yet we had zero run of the ball or luck against those three teams. The next two games are key. I think if we get 4 points then confidence will improve from the fans and within the team. If we lose both then we are destined for a long hard season.
Sorry its a long post. I have been musing on this since Saturday.